ANOTHER IMPORTANT BOOK

Raschka (Like Likes Like, p. 304, etc.) illustrates this previously unpublished companion to the recently reissued The Important Book (1999) with page after page of wriggly children rendered in looping, calligraphic black strokes and freely brushed color. Adopting an assured tone, Brown tracks the development of a child’s capabilities and sense of self: “You can’t quite talk./You can’t quite walk./You’ve found your nose/and discovered your toes./You’ve seen the moon/and felt the sun./But the important thing about being One is that life has just begun.” Her text takes children to age six; by alternating pictures of single children with group scenes, Raschka expands the author’s focus on the individual to make growing up a social as well as personal experience. Think of this as a free-spirited alternative to Robert Kraus’s Leo the Late Bloomer (1973) and its blatantly commercial reprise, Little Louie the Baby Bloomer (1998, not reviewed). (Picture book. 1-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-026282-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

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BONNIE'S BLUE HOUSE

This color-concept book from newcomer Asbury has much going for it. The spare text (``I am Bonnie and this is my cat, Bluebonnet'') and the two-color illustrations (black and blue on a bed of white) are simple, direct, and oddly comforting. Bonnie recounts a day in her life: She introduces readers to her home, cavorts with her pals in a tree fort and swimming pool, sups, watches TV, reads her dad a bedtime story. For the most part, Asbury has chosen the vehicles for his color with a nod toward familiarity—blue water, blueberry pie, blue eyes (small, ghoulish buttons)—and sometimes with real invention: the flicker of the cathode ray, the glow of moonlight. The blue tree, on the other hand, is discordant. Two companion volumes, Rusty's Red Vacation (ISBN 0-8050-4021-8) and Yolanda's Yellow School (- 4023-4), take Asbury's color message aptly into those realms. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-8050-4022-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1997

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THIS IS MY HAIR

Parr has a child’s take on hair’s many states—it can stand on end, blow in the wind, bubble with soap, or be pulled back into pigtails. He playfully records hair situations most children will recognize: Hair at a rock concert stands up straight, while a ‘do with too much hairspray turns into bedsprings gone berserk. Simple line drawings done in bold colors communicate the narrator’s notions: “This is my hair with my hat off” shows hair so flat a steam roller might have driven over it. The ending is uplifting—“No matter how your hair looks, always feel good about yourself. Love, Todd.” This book and its companions (The Okay Book, Do’s and Don’ts, and Things That Make You Feel Good/Things That Make You Feel Bad) have an attitude and look that should send them flying off the shelves. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-69236-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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